When it rains, it pours.
It has been tough being a Swindon Town fan in the last month, you go from the highs of winning two local derbies against Bristol Rovers and Oxford United. Then the lows with being brought back to earth with a massive bump with 4 defeats in a row and hovering close to bottom spot in the league one table.
Everything was looking rosy after the Oxford United win, but the results and the performances in the matches since have not been good enough. To credit I thought Swindon did okay away at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night for parts of the game. The shape of the 4-1-4-1 with Dion Conroy as the DM role looked good for 46 minutes and it was undone by two second half mistakes and Swindon were punished. You cannot make those types of defensive mistakes in league one or you will get punished. it is happening more and more in games this season and is becoming a recurring theme in Swindon Town games. It needs to be eradicated from games the club could be back in league two quicker than we thought
On Tuesday game, it was good to have Zeki Fryers back in the Centre back role and to get 90 minutes under his belt. His pace and calming influence have been missed in the three months he was missing. More minutes for Dion Conroy after his recovery, also a rest for Anthony Grant who must have been running on empty and playing through the pain barrier. He needed that rest. My final positivity from Tuesday is that Matej Kovar is getting more confident and has been one of Swindon better players in the last month or so. The critics on twitter have been more complementary about his performances in recent weeks.
John Sheridan did the pre match presser with Tyler Smith today before tomorrow game and there is one quote that stood out for me and it has been doing the rounds on social media.
“I’m not being disrespectful but if I was winning all the time then I wouldn’t be at Swindon”
It is not the best thing to say in a pre-match presser after losing 4 games on the spin and losing 6 games out of the 9 games you have in charge at the club. This season while being manager at both Wigan Athletic and Swindon Town p24 w5 D3 L16. That is bottom of the table of the league form. Something must be done, or this club will be regressing to League 2 quick.
Charlton Athletic after a rocky start to the season with the ownership problems have steadied the ship and now sitting 7th place in league one table on 30 points after 16 games. Goal difference alone is keeping them away from the top 6. Charlton have already come to the county ground this season and that was the EFL Cup in early September and came away with a convincing 3-1 away win.
Charlton Athletic recent run of form has not been great, been very up and down. In the last 6 games Charlton have had 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats. 1-1 draw against Gillingham was followed up by a 4-2 defeat against Burton Albion. A brilliant 2-0 away win at Ipswich was followed by a disappointing defeat at home to MK Dons on which the 2,000 fans in attendance booed them off. A 1-1 draw away at Shrewsbury was followed up by an emphatic 5-2 home win over AFC Wimbledon. Charlton Athletic was supposed to have played Bristol Rovers in midweek but that was called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak at Bristol Rovers.
Lee Bowyer in recent weeks has switched his tactical set up, in recent weeks he has been playing with a 4-3-1-2 with a playmaker behind two strikers. Bowyer has been known to switch it up a lot this season by playing a 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-1-2.
The standout players for Charlton Athletic this season has been Conor Washington, the Northern Ireland international has scored 6 goals in 15 league appearances this season. Washington can play in any of the forward positions, he will be a threat against a leaky Swindon Town defence and scored at the weekend in the 5-2 win over AFC Wimbledon. His strike partner Chuks Aneke who has a good scoring record against Swindon with 4 goals in 7 games, Aneke has scored 5 in 12 league games and has already scored at County ground in the EFL Cup against Swindon in September.
Saturday home game will be tough, I think I have said that a lot this season. But the rot of results must stop at some point if not it could be a bleak 2021 for Swindon, Charlton will be looking to pick up after some patchy results and with the firepower up front will be looking to cause a leaky Swindon defence low on confidence a lot of problems.
By Scot Munroe